Big Girl follows the story of Victoria, a woman described by her own parents as too fat, too intelligent and almost too ugly.
Victoria was born from good-looking and unfortunately, narcissistic parents. Her father, Jim, was the school heartthrob and athlete superstar while her mother, Christine, is the prom homecoming queen.
When Christine conceived Victoria, she and Jim were already expecting that the baby will look as beautiful as them only to be greatly disappointed when Victoria came out and lo and behold, she did not look any one of her parents. Her dad who thought that Victoria was ugly and had an abnormally large nose, immediately named her as Victoria. Not because she was queenly but because she was as ugly as the Queen.
It is clear from that day that the parents weren't happy with their first born especially when Victoria's dad told everyone--even the child's grandparents-- that their first child is just the tester. The error in the trial.
Instead of getting love from her parents, Victoria was often teased by her father while her mother, though a better parent compared to Jim, did not also stop her husband from bullying her daughter and let him went on with it. And then came another daughter, Grace, who was the exact opposite of Victoria. She was as perfect as her parents. Delicate features, soft spoken and the pride of Jim and Christine.
Eventhough Victoria knew that her parents were so proud of Grace and she was shunted sideways all the more, it didn't stop her from adoring and loving her younger sister. Her love for the little Gracie even came to the extent that she was already playing "mother" to the little girl because Christine had busied herself with extra-curricular activities.
The two sisters grew up so closely that Gracie also adored her big sister so much and didn't even care if she was ugly or not. All this time though, their father did not stop bullying Victoria about her looks. The bullying became worst when Victoria, who is at a seemingly ripe age, announced that she's gonna be a teacher and she's not yet planning to have a boyfriend or husband.
Her parents who were as close-minded and as self-centered as anyone could imagine could not believe of her choices because they seemed to be untraditional. With a heavy heart and a lot of crying from Grace, Victoria moved to New York.
This was the turning point of Victoria's life. In New York, she made real friends, she got accepted to a prestigious job that didn't care about how she looked and most of all, a lot of realizations about her and her family. Although part of her is already happy that finally, she has escaped the cruel life living with her parents, she still had insecurities because all her relationships in New York failed. And she thought that it was because of her looks. She went into depression and even consulted a psychiatrist. She even had a nose job.
Victoria's will to live a life that is free from pressures from her parents finally paid off at the end. She finally found the man of her dreams in the person of Mr. Collin and guess what, he actually resembled the macho guy-next-door type.
So what does this story tells us? It tells us of emotional trauma, of how important the role of the parents shape the personality of a child, that looks shouldn't matter and that the inside beauty should always be the one to prevail; and most of all, that there's always a rainbow after the rain.
I also admire Victoria's strength that despite all the bullying, the ingrained pain her parents had created, she remained focus, and exerted all her efforts to be happy. Although she was hurt and felt a resentment towards her parents, in the end she came through as a victorious woman. Free from the pains inflicted to her by her own parents. She's only worried that Grace, who she adored and loved, is turning like her mother. A brainless woman who think that the role of the woman in the society is to be beautiful, to stay at home and to follow the dictates of her husband.
This story teaches us that no matter how hard life is, no matter how painful are the things that life throw at us, it is only us who can help ourselves and create that bliss we are looking for. Happiness comes from within and the only way to do that is to reflect on the things that actually matter and to accept our individual oddities. Once you are free from these walls (either created by you or the people around you), then you are free to walk into the path of happiness.
My only regret with this book is that there are a lot pages that seemed so dragging. This is the second Danielle Steel book that I've read after Wanderlust. Ms. Steel has a tendency to linger on things that halfway through reading it, I look up and find myself lost and frustrated.
For more book reviews, visit me at: Thoughts and Pens